Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is not shying away from talking about the tough issues, saying that the U.S. will not rule out military action against North Korea.
“We’re exchanging views,” Tillerson said regarding nuclearization of the peninsula, “Nothing has been taken off the table.”
Tillerson described the strategy towards North Korea the last 20 years as a failure:
“Let me be very clear: the policy of strategic patience has ended,” said Tillerson in a later press availability in Seoul with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se.
“If they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level we believe requires action that option is on the table,” Tillerson also said, adding the U.S. wants to avoid military conflict and hopes other measures convince North Korea to suspend its weapons programs.
Tillerson met with South Korean Prime Minister Yun Byung-se in Seoul:
“We have various policy methods available,” said Yun, who may leave his position following elections for a new South Korean government in early May. “If imposing diplomatic pressure is a building, military deterrence would be one of the pillars of this building.”
“We plan to have all relevant nations work together more closely than in the past and make sure that North Korea, feeling pain for its wrongdoings, changes its strategy.”
On Tuesday, North Korea threatened the U.S. with “merciless” attacks if the military continues drills with South Korea:
“If they infringe on the DPRK’s sovereignty and dignity even a bit, its army will launch merciless ultra-precision strikes from ground, air, sea and underwater,” the North’s state news agency KCNA said.
North Korea’s official name is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“On March 11 alone, many enemy carrier-based aircraft flew along a course near territorial air and waters of the DPRK to stage drills of dropping bombs and making surprise attacks on the ground targets of its army,” KCNA said.
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